US envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke has given an indication of how fixated Americans are on India, by his press conference at the US State Department. He has given India credit for the Aghan Transit Trade Agreement. This agreement contained a clause permitting this land route to India, not immediately but as the result of a further agreement. It should be noted that Ambassador Holbrooke is not the US Ambassador to India, anxious to claim undue credit for his country of accreditation even though it deserves none. The Afghan Transit Trade Agreement is supposed to be between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and since that transit trade passes entirely through Pakistan, India has no connection. However, India itself trades with Afghanistan, and wants a land route through Pakistan to Afghanistan. It is unfortunately true that even at the height of hostility between the communist regime of Afghanistan, and the Zia regime which was supporting its opponents, the transit trade was used as a conduit of smuggling into Pakistan, and if the Afghan Transit Trade is ever allowed to be used by India overland through Pakistan, it will merely be used for smuggling Indian goods. This is how India sees itself in the region: with a dominant, indeed hegemonistic, role, where it is made a player even in matters which are purely bilateral between two other regional states. What is even more dangerous is that the USA also sees its role in the same light. This is not how Pakistan wished to see the power to which its ruling elite looks up to so much, but that is the reality that must be dealt with. The ruling elite still wishes to prevent India from exercising hegemony in the region, but its desire to win American favour means that it will accept that hegemony. The Aghan Transit Trade Agreement seems to be the first step in that direction. With that goal, it is no wonder that the USA has not just ignored Pakistani interests when considering the Afghan Transit Trade Agreement and its India clause, but Ambassador Holbrooke has gone out of his way to praise India for its role in an agreement that should affect it only tangentially. Ambassador Holbrookes statement should be condemned by the Pakistani authorities in no uncertain terms, and they should also make it clear to the Pakistani people that there is no secret deal taking place through the Afghan Transit Trade Agreement in which Pakistan has accepted US pressure to accept Indian hegemony. Pakistan should also convey to the USA its principled inability to accept its plans for the region, particularly Indian hegemony.